A wife will only be able to effectively fulfill this enormous task if she is in harmony with her husband and has his full support. Much of the success of a marriage depends on the attitude of the wife.
A pious and faithful wife is regarded as the best possession of both worlds. Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Whoever has been given four things verily he has been given the best of the world and the hereafter…” – among the four mentioned is - “a wife who does not betray her husband with regard to herself or his wealth.” (Mishkat)
Tendencies that are disruptive to marriage
In the course of daily life, there will be instances of disagreement and conflict. The husband and wife will not agree with each other on every aspect. Human nature is such that no two people have the same temperament, likes, dislikes, and habits. It is important for the wife to be cautious in these situations and not utter statements that she will regret. If an error does occur impulsively the wife should be quick to redeem herself by seeking forgiveness – the phrase “I am sorry” has sterling powers in a marriage.
Generally, when an argument ensues then the wife expresses her anger and frustration by sulking or showing indifference to the husband and hurting him emotionally. The wife expresses her anger to the husband by shouting, screaming, nagging, and protesting. This attitude adds to further anxiety and displeasure in the relationship which causes the husband to resent his wife.
By acquainting herself with the likes and dislikes of her husband and understanding his moods and temperament will know how and when to react in different situations. Her husband will also take note of her positive approach towards him and show his appreciation. She will earn his admiration for her wisdom and patience.
Ingratitude in the midst of favours
Ingratitude is something that a wife must guard against. The tendency to never be pleased and an unending greed for more is detrimental to the marriage. At times, the wife, surrounded by bounties will split hairs over a minor discomfort. The wife should understand the husband's ability and capacity to provide for the home and not unduly impose upon him to live a standard he cannot sustain. Never envy the good things others have and do not endeavour to compete with people in material wealth and status. Live a life of simplicity and be pleased with Allah's decree.
Living in harmony with in-laws
It is of paramount importance that the wife maintains a good and healthy relationship with her husband's family, especially her mother-in-law. If the wife displays her likeness for them, this will bring a great deal of happiness to the husband which will strengthen the marriage bond and enhance love among all.
Having a strained relationship with one's in-laws only adds to the pressure of marriage and will ultimately affects the marital bond. Hence, it is wise for the wife to steer clear of conflict, ignore unsavoury remarks, and try her level best to uphold the relationship from her side.
Allah Ta'ala says: “The good deed and evil deed are not equal – repel the evil with that which is better (a good act), then with whom there was enmity shall become like bosom friends. This is only achieved by those who adopt patience and those crowned with happiness.” (S 41 V 30)
Desist from faulting the husband & abominable conduct
Due to the permanence of marriage and a life-long bond that exists by virtue of Nikah, the spouses become very attached to each other. This closeness and attachment can also have a downside when partners, due to knowing each other very well, become informal and casual with each other. Whilst informality can be a good thing, if over done it can lead to disrespect and dereliction of duty.
When difficulties arise
Indeed the wife may be faced with situations where she is doing everything to the best of her ability and following all the guidelines towards a happy marriage but finds that her husband is not reciprocating. It may be possible that the husband suffers from his own set of dilemmas like anger, ego, haughtiness, pride, miserliness, jealousy etc. Of course he would need guidance and advice on how to overcome these traits which are equally destructive for the husband as they are for the wife.
However, the wife's approach to such conditions will also have a bearing on the outcome. The wife's approach and attitude could either aggravate an already explosive situation or remedy it. This depends on the wife. She may have issues varying from wanting separate living quarters, issues with her sister's in-law, undue demands from her husband, husband treating her unfairly to the co-wife, husband being unfaithful, on substance dependency or he may just be oblivious of the home, children and family. Whilst no wife deserves such treatment, a woman faced with such a situation has to face reality and her approach is crucial to the marriage.
When in a predicament, the wife should firstly place her complete trust in Allah Ta’ala and supplicate to Him to alleviate the problem. At the same time, in a very courteous and respectful manner and at an appropriate time she should bring the issue to the attention of the husband and discuss it mutually. The Quran advocates the system of mediation and conciliation by appointing of arbiters if an impasse cannot be resolved by the spouses internally.
In conclusion, the wife, with her many rights and privileges also has a responsibility to fulfill. With dignity and decorum she should develop a good character and personality that will be appreciated and admired by her husband and all those she interacts with.
May Allah Ta'ala grant every wife the privilege of entering Jannah (paradise) through the obedience and pleasure of her husband.
The Faithful Wife
Islam accords a Muslim wife a very unique position. She is entrusted with infusing Islamic values within the home and shaping the home environment into one of bliss and piety. Indeed her role is pivotal, and for this the wife herself will need to be empowered with sound Islamic knowledge, sound character and good home-keeping techniques.